Today’s Bible Reading: Song of Solomon 5-8:14; 2 Corinthians 9:1-15; Psalm 51:1-19; Proverbs 22:24-25
Yesterday in our reading of Song of Solomon the two newlyweds were alone on their wedding night about to consummate their marriage. At first the woman had referred to her body as “hers”. We should only “give away” our bodies to our spouse. Until we are married our bodies belong to us.
After they were married and alone the woman referred to her body as “his” (Song of Solomon 4:16). At the conclusion of their first experience together the husband refers to his wife’s body as “mine” (Song of Solomon 5:1). Once married a wife’s body belongs to her husband, sexually speaking. And the husband’s belongs to his wife (1 Corinthians 7:4).
Song of Solomon 5:2 begins a digression depicting a conflict between the man and woman. The man wanted to see her but she wasn’t sure she wanted to see him. Something had happened in their relationship. While she delays, the man finally gives up and leaves (Song of Solomon 5:2-6).
The woman goes searching for her man, knowing that they belong together. We see the importance of restoring broken relationships here. Jesus also goes in search of people who have rejected in Him in hopes of restoring relationship.
After being reunited after their spat, the man once again describes the pleasure he sees in his wife’s body. But this time he starts at the bottom of her body and works his way up (Song of Solomon 7:1-5). There is nothing wrong with admitting the sexual arousal we experience by a member of the opposite sex (although we should only say these things to our spouse). God designed the female body for the enjoyment of the male and vice versa.
Knowing that you are attractive to your spouse is a great feeling and the woman obviously enjoys the fact that her husband is so turned on by her (Song of Solomon 7:1). Her response is to invite him to make love to her (Song of Solomon 7:12). Again we see that God never intended for sex to only for a man’s enjoyment. His plan is for both husband and wife to enjoy being sexual with each other.
The New Testament speaks nothing about tithing (giving 10% back to God). Instead it teaches us that our giving should be plentiful and with the right heart. We also see that the more we give, the more we get in return (2 Corinthians 9:6). We reap what we sow. And while the context of this passage is financial, our rewards could be spiritual as well.
And while God can and does reward us here on earth, our reward may not be limited to this world. It would be better to have rewards that last forever. And the only place to get those is heaven. I’d rather have those.
When giving our heart needs to be in the right place (2 Corinthians 9:7). We should not give begrudgingly or with resentment. The people who collect the offering at church shouldn’t have to pry the check from our hand :). Instead we should enjoy giving.
I understand this is difficult. We work hard for our money. Money provides security. And with the way things have been for the past few years security is very important. But God wants us to put our trust in Him not in our wealth or anything else (2 Corinthians 9:8-9). If we share freely with others, God will provide all we need with plenty left over. Our giving will not go unnoticed.
When we give to others in need they not only get their needs met, but they will thank God (2 Corinthians 9:12) also. Additionally, their faith will be strengthened as they see the giver obeying God’s commands. (2 Corinthians 9:13). People take notice when we are obedient to God. When we obey we could change someone’s life forever, not just by what we give but by the fact that we gave in the first place.
God is all about restoring lives and restoring our relationship with Him. This is exactly David’s request in Psalm 51. David committed many sins in his life. He wrote this psalm at the point of realizing that he needed restoration and that restoration could only come from God.
He asks God to restore him (Psalm 51:1-2). But before God can do that David needed to confess his sin and ask for forgiveness (Psalm 51:5-7).
Once we are restored we will have joy (Psalm 51:8) and we can serve God again (Psalm 51:13). When we are living sinfully our worship of God is non-existent. But when we are restored we can worship again (Psalm 51:15).
The company we keep will affect our character. We become like the people we hang out with (Proverbs 22:24-25). Take a look at the people you associate with most. If they aren’t the kind of people you want to become, then you need to find some new friends.
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